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HomeBlog the LineLabor boards, imploding economies, holiday panic

Labor boards, imploding economies, holiday panic

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Well as you know, dear blog reader, the WGA has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the AMPTP, “for its refusal to bargain in good faith with the WGA. It is a clear violation of federal law for the AMPTP to issue an ultimatum and break off negotiations if we fail to cave to their illegal demands.” We’ll run the entirety of the statement below.

What the WGA hopes to accomplish through this surprise move, is a puzzlement. Or rather, they may think, at some level, that the mere act of filing may spook the AMPTP back to the table, yet for that to work, companies like General Electric and Time Warner would have to think there was a possibility the NLRB — this NLRB — would rule against them.

But let me throw four words at you: “Majority George Bush appointees.” Now you see the problem.

This isn’t really a “Labor” board, so much, anymore. Or perhaps, it’s not a board particularly concerned with any “relations” to labor. Especially if your job is exportable to a sweatshop in China or some other locus of no-cost manufacturing.

But the WGA may be worried that too much dilly-dallying over the holidays — on whoever’s part — will just set up what is looking more like the “DGA Endgame” to all this: The DGA settles on a streaming/digital formula, and it is their deal, not the WGA’s, that becomes the defacto template.

But this’ll have to happen soon. As Dave McNary reported in Variety today, the TV season has entirely shut down.

And when the holidays are over — cause you don’t want to harsh a mellow during Christmas shopping time — our own esteemed Governor is planning to declare a state of economic emergency in California.

That’s because the deficit is far worse than all the “experts” imagined, even a few weeks ago.

That’s because house values continue to fall (and thus local tax revenues), and people find themselves on the edge of ruin to the ever-unfolding subprime fiasco.

Which means, really, there’s no safety net, other than whatever showbiz gig you have going now.

Which means no one is really going to have the stomach for a long strike. Which could be exactly what the conglomerates are counting on.

Still, it’s the season of miracles, n’est-ce pas? We will take a hopeful stance, too.

At least, until right after the New Year.

Meanwhile, the promised text:

CONTRACT 2007 NEGOTIATIONS STATEMENT

LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have issued the following statement regarding Contract 2007 negotiations:

“Today the WGA filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the AMPTP for its refusal to bargain in good faith with the WGA. It is a clear violation of federal law for the AMPTP to issue an ultimatum and break off negotiations if we fail to cave to their illegal demands.

We are in the midst of the holiday season, with thousands of our members and the membership of other unions out of work. It is the height of irresponsibility and intransigence for the AMPTP to refuse to negotiate a fair agreement with the WGA. We reiterate our demand that the AMPTP immediately return to the negotiations, rather than going on vacation, so that this town can be put back to work.

The DGA announced today that it may commence negotiations with the AMPTP in January. The DGA has to do what is best for its membership, and we will do what is best for ours. We wish them well, but they do not represent writers. Our strike will end when the companies return to negotiations and make a fair deal with the WGA.”

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